Water purifiers exist to prevent the incidence of waterborne diseases by improving the quality of water for daily use. However, with so many water filters in the market today, all with different claims and specifications, it can be tough to choose what is best for your home drinking needs. Here we look at 10 things you should look into when deciding on what water purifier to get for your family.
Where is your access to water? Is it in the kitchen sink? Then you should consider direct to tap water purifiers. But does the cabinet under your sink have enough space for a water purifier? You should also consider if putting the water purifier to your source would be accessible to everyone.
Sediment Filters, Ultrafiltration (UF) and Activated Carbon water purifiers do not work without electricity and they are useful for homes with bad power shortages. These non-electric storage water purifiers work on gravity rather than electricity. But if you have frequent electric outages in your area, then it is best that you opt for UV and RO water purifiers because of their ample storage. Most UV water purifiers would not work if there is no electricity as it uses electricity for ultraviolet radiation while RO water purifiers are known as an electronic device. It uses electric power to provide enough water pressure for the RO membrane. Before buying RO, check first the power mode to know how much energy it consumes.
The quality of water differs from area to area but the water supplied to some areas is hard water. It means that their water has a high amount of Total Dissolved Solids. TDS in water contains inorganic salts such as calcium, magnesium, potassium, chlorides, bicarbonates, sodium and sulfates. Bacteria, viruses and the TDS dissolved in tap water can cause a negative effect on your health if you consume them in large amounts.
Do you know how contaminated your water source is? Before you head out to purchase a water purifier, it is better if you determine beforehand your water’s level of contamination since the type of water purifier you opt for must depend on the water quality in your area. There are checkup kits available for you to know the water quality in your area or you can even call an expert to do the job.
There are various types of water purifiers but RO (Reverse Osmosis) and UV (Ultraviolet) are the most in-demand in the market. Areas with below 200ppm TDS are suitable for Ultraviolet (UV) water purifiers. In UV water purifiers, the harmful microorganisms cannot reproduce and multiply rapidly with the radiation from the UV lamp. Meanwhile, those who live in areas with hard water, which is above 200ppm TDS, are advisable to get Reverse Osmosis purifiers. Some water purifiers use a combination of RO and UV. The RO membrane removes dead bacteria, viruses and hardness from the water to make it absolutely pure and clean.
Gravity Water Purifiers are also available in the market. It has different types such as Ultrafiltration (UF), Carbon block, Ceramic Block, and Non-Woven Media. Similar to UV, these water purifiers only work on water with below 200ppm TDS.
Nothing is more assuring than a water purifier that has a good water purification aspect. A good purifier provides water that is rich in potassium, calcium, magnesium and trace elements, but it should not end there. The water purifier should not compromise water’s antioxidant properties. It should retain such properties after purification and still ensure your water is free of contaminants. Aside from the fact that dissolved chemicals can be hazardous to our health, these chemicals do not have an odor or any color, so they go unnoticed. All water purifiers clean the normal tap water to make it a drinkable water but RO water purifiers are also known for improving the taste and color of the water.
Consider your family members before buying a water purifier. If you have children or babies in the family then the more you should prefer RO. Most parents buy distilled water for their baby but purified water is also a safe option. Among all water purifiers available, RO is the best water purifier for children and babies as it effectively removes chemical contaminants that could harm them such as Nitrates, Perchlorate, Hexavalent chromium, Arsenic, Lead and Polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS). RO water is also safe to use for sterilizing baby bottles and feeding equipment.
Since UV and RO are electric water purifiers, they are always installed near a source of water and an electrical point. The ideal distance between the two should be within 3 feet. Water purifiers can be often seen in the kitchen but some kitchens might lack enough space for a water purifier or it can alter the look of the kitchen. If that’s the case then an under-the-sink water purifier is the right one for you. But if you have space for a countertop or you want it wall hung especially if it’s non-electric then you can put it on the counter top or on the wall as long as it’s away from direct heat or sunlight.
Similar to other products, knowing the warranty and return policy of a water purifier is also important to ensure that the water purifier you’ll buy is good quality and doesn’t contain any manufacturing defects. Installing the water filter on your own can void the warranty. Make sure whether your area is covered under the brand’s service coverage. If that product is recommended by your friend, family member, relative, or acquaintance then you can ask about the policy of the brand. You can also check the manufacturer’s website. The poorer the water quality, the more frequent the service is required. However, some brands are so hard to reach when you try to contact them for service so it’s better that before you buy a water purifier, you check the service availability of the brand in your area as well as the credentials of the service provider.
Water purifiers are not one-time investment; they all need filter/lamp replacements. Since the water passes through different stages of filtration inside the removable cartridge, the filtering mediums get clogged after a certain period of time as it does all the work in cleansing the water. The water purifier will not purify water with efficiency once the filters are clogged with lint and grime so it needs to be changed regularly. You need to replace your water regularly to keep it clean, clear, and functioning correctly or else, the flow rate of the water being produced from the water filter system will slow down, resulting in unpleasant taste, odor and taste.
The replacement schedule will be based on the consumption of water in your household, brand/unit of filtration system, amount of water that needs filtering and the hardness of your water source. Some water purifiers come with an alarm that alerts you when you need to change the filter. However, there are also a lot of water purifiers also that don't tell you so you either replace the filter/lamp too early and spend more or replace too late and risk your family’s health. Ideally, you should replace your filter every 6-12 months or after purifying 3,000 gallons of water. Remember to follow the instructions in your filter’s user manual for more specific time ranges for cleaning and changing.
The replacement cost may vary depending on the type and model of water purifier that you use. You can contact the company for the filter/lamp replacement but there are also some DIY filter/lamp replacements available online. Check out Amazon, Abenson, Shopee and Lazada! There are many step-by-step instructions uploaded on the internet about changing your own water filter, you can simply follow it. However, most filter replacements have long procedures. Some water purifiers have a cheap upfront cost of purchase but the maintenance and repair are expensive so you really have to consider the consumables before buying a water purifier.
Customers’ feedback is not the only important review that matters in finding a good water purifier. Health regulations must be met to make sure that these water purifiers are safe and effective. Certifications by health organizations such as DOH, FDA and EPA play an important role as they perform rigorous testing on water filtration products to ensure that the water coming out from water purifiers is free from the contaminants that could put risk to the consumers. Manufacturers should prove that their products are trustworthy for them to earn certifications.
Having a water purifier at home is unarguably more convenient since there’s no need to buy outside or call for deliveries as well as lifting heavy water bottles. Drinking water is more in-demand when there are many members in the family. Thirst is one of the hardest things to endure but since you know the importance of good health, you’d still prefer to drink purified water than a normal tap water. However, gravity purifiers take time to purify the water and it requires time to time refill since most gravity purifiers don’t have storage.
Meanwhile, RO and some UV purifiers come with a storage so purified water is still available even when there’s no electricity. These convenient purifiers automatically fill up on their own and they give alerts as an indicator when lamps/filters have to be changed. RO water purifiers have many filtration stages but some RO provide an additional stage for hot water which can also be used in making formula or sterilizing baby bottles and feeding equipment.
Moreover, it’s necessary to check if the water purifier provides enough space from the dispenser nozzle since there are dispensers that have very little clearance that taller bottles might not fit easily. The way the water releases is another thing to check. It’s good to consider buying a water purifier that releases water through a push button affair, rather than doing a constant push on the lever.
Various water purifiers offer different benefits such as multiple stages of purification, energy saver features, storage and many more. However, there are some water purifiers that have special features which make them unique or different from others. You will notice it once you compare the list of features of different water purifier brands. Those special features are like additional benefits offered by the brand.
There are many considerations when buying a water purifier. Make sure to consider the 10 things listed above so you can choose what's best for your family.